Christmas is so many different things to so many people.  Different traditions, customs and foods.  Each family develop their own unique set of traditions and we are no different.  One of the things I love about Christmas is how we do the same thing every year.  And like many other moms and women out there, I have tried to recreate for my family, the same traditions and emotions that I loved as a child.  My mom julebildetand dad always made Christmas very special.  I loved my mom’s baking, the yummy food, and the beautiful decorations.  I loved how my dad would play some of my favourite Christmas carols on his harmonica and his absolute undying belief in julenissen (santa).

I was just looking for a traditional Norwegian recipe for the red cabbage I am making for tonight and my favourite carol came on.  You probably don’t know it – Julekveldsvisa.

Anyway, I was just listening to it and I started crying.  I felt so very sad all of a sudden.

Why?

I have so much to be happy about.  My children and my husband are all going to be with me today.  Our tree is full of gifts and the fridge is full of good food.  What more could I want?  Nothing really.

I guess I am missing those that are not here.  My mom and dad and sister and her family who are in Norway.  So far away – I really wish I could see them today.  My very dear aunt who is celebrating her first Christmas without her husband, my uncle, for the first time in over 50 years.  I miss my uncle.  My Julebilde-nisseheart breaks a little for my aunt and I wish I could visit her and hug her today.  I miss the years past with my cousins at Christmas time when we were all children.  I miss when my boys were young and all underfoot and excited today, on Christmas eve.  And I miss my baby James who never spent a single Christmas with us except in my heart.

As I wipe my little self-pity tears I realize that I am also crying of joy.  I am so fortunate to have had all those wonderful people and memories in my life.  I couldn’t imagine not experiencing them and therefore the sadness and sense of loss is also a celebration of how incredibly blessed I am.

I love my memories.  I welcome the tears which I know will be followed by a full and happy heart.

All my love to my family and friends today and to you.  May you have everything you wish for this Christmas.

Elisabeth xo